A garage in Cambridge has hit the market at an eye-watering £80,000. It's an incredible sum for a parking space, and is yet another a sign that the local housing market has caught fire.
The estate agent, Bidwells, say the garage is 20ft by 12 ft and has a drive that's 20ft by 13ft. But while it offers plenty of space for a couple of cars in what the agent describes as an 'outstanding location', it offers little scope for anything else. Certainly you'd have to be very creative to squeeze a family home onto the plot. And if development was your aim, you'd have another hurdle to get over.
The Cambridge News reported that the garage owners had applied for planning permission ten years ago and been rejected. However, they said the agent had emphasised that planning rules had been relaxed since then, and there was always the chance that there could be some development potential further down the line. In the interim, it seems, this plot is being sold for very well-positioned parking space - with a very dim and distant possibility of development.
When you consider that you can get a garage further out of the centre for as little as £20,000, you'd have to conclude that development potential is being priced in - at least to some extent.
It's a sign of how the market in Cambridge is hotting up. The average house price has risen more than 20% in the last year to almost £420,000. Rightmove reported earlier this summer that properties on the market here sell faster than anywhere else in the country - including London. On average it takes just 27 days to agree a sale - compared to an average of 65 across the UK.
Buyers are drawn not just by the range of employers - including the expanding global hub of AstraZeneca - but also the global reputation of the city, which has drawn investors for overseas who have chosen Cambridge for an investment property. ITV reported last month that increasingly the city is facing what has always been a London problem - of overseas buyers investing in properties and leaving them empty.
It means that a two bedroom flat could easily set you back more than £350,000, while four bedroom terraces in decent condition fetch more than £700,000, and you can easily pay more than £1 million for a four bedroom property in a smart part of town.
When you look at it like that, you're buying a £80,000 garage, which could become a two-bedroom house if you get permission in ten years or so - which by then could be worth £1 million.
But would you buy it?
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